Termed-out county Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas was leading the pack of candidates for the open District 10 seat on the Los Angeles City Council Tuesday evening, while former state Sen. Kevin de Leon was flirting with an outright win for the District 14 post.
As of 10 p.m., de Leon had 53.4% of the vote, enough to elect him to the council outright and avoid a Nov. 3 runoff, should he remain above the 50% threshold.
Ridley-Thomas, whose campaign outspent his nearest challenger by hundreds of thousands of dollars, had 44.3% of the early vote, while attorney Grace Yoo had 30.6%, setting up an apparent November runoff between the pair.
Councilman Herb Wesson of the 10th District is running for the county board seat being vacated by Ridley-Thomas, who is in turn seeking to win Wesson’s seat on the council. Councilman Jose Huizar of the council’s 14th District is termed out.
Speaking to supporters at an election night rally, de Leon talked about homelessness and made a pledge to end it.
“This (homelessness) leaves an indelible mark of shame … we can do so much better than that because we are better than that as a city,” de Leon said. “If we win outright tonight, I give you my word that I will roll up my sleeves and do everything that I can humanely possible to make sure that we provide divinity and respect to the tens of thousands … who are sleeping on our streets every night.”
In the 10th district race, Ridley-Thomas has touted his sponsorship of Measure H, the county ballot measure expected to generate more than $3.5 billion over 10 years to build supportive housing to combat homelessness. He is also a co-chair on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Council of Regional Homeless Advisors. Ridley-Thomas said he wants to transform public transportation, the criminal justice system and enhance renewable energy opportunities. Ridley-Thomas served on the City Council from 1991 to 2002, so he can only serve for another four years, per the city’s term limits.
Yoo said she wants to focus on improving city infrastructure and public safety, and she said she would work with city staff and residents to be as transparent with her policymaking as possible. She also said she wants to improve city services and tackle any corruption issues that arise at City Hall.
The district includes much of central and South Los Angeles, including communities such as Koreatown, Mid City, Leimert Park, Arlington Heights, West Adams and Little Ethiopia.
In the 14th district race, de Leon said he wants to improve immigrant rights and local transportation. He said he wants to make zero-emission public transportation available for everyone, and he wants to make open space and green areas a priority. He also said he wants to make the streets safer by employing tailored policing to individual neighborhoods, either by increasing foot patrols or creating community policing.
De Leon is a former state Senate President Pro Tempore, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for U.S. Senate in 2018 against longtime California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
The district includes downtown, Boyle Heights, Highland Park, Eagle Rock, Glassell Park and Highland Park.
Other even-numbered council seats were also voted upon in Tuesday’s election, but all incumbents are poised to retain their council seats.
As of 10 p.m. the votes for the remaining City Council elections were:
— In Council District Two, incumbent Councilman Paul Krekorian received 70.2% of the votes against laborer and artist Rudy Melendez and attorney Ayinde Jones. The write-in candidate is Stacey Slichta,
— In Council District Four, incumbent Councilman David Ryu had 50.7% of the vote against Nithya Raman, a homeless nonprofit leader, as well as writer and women’s advocate Sarah Kate Levy. The write-in candidates are Eric Christie and Susan Collins,
— In Council District Six, City Council President Nury Martinez had 71.2% of the votes against music studio owner Bill Haller and community advocate Benito Benny Bernal,
— Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson of the Eighth Council District is running unopposed on the ballot, and he had received 100% of the votes. The write-in candidates were Tara Perry, Denise Woods and Ingrid Rivera-Guzman.
— In Council District 12, incumbent Councilman John Lee, who won a special election in August, had 54.9% of the vote against Loraine Lundquist, an educator and astrophysicist. The write-in candidate is Asaad Alnajjar.
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